Granny Square Skirt on the Hook Again

Yea!  My yarn from over seas came in yesterday, and I can resume stitching on my granny square skirt.i feel quite lucky that I was able to find this yarn at all since I bought it from a Bernina shop in Jerusalem.  Have you ever seen a shopping bag from Jerusalem?  Here it is.That alphabet really looks unreadable to me.  Somehow we share the joy of a common love, sewing and crochet.  It’s such a small world!

I am on the road , AGAIN!  My parents both turned 80 this past year,  all of my brothers and sisters bought them a trip and are joining them on a vacation.  We haven’t all been on a trip together in over 15 years!  We are all so excited:) 

So… I am glad this yarn came in. Now I can hopefully finish this skirt on the drive.  I think I can, I think I can!I am stitching in the back loops of the stitches to give this great striped look.This skirt is going to be based on this  free pattern:I am going to make it in a round and add a few inches.  I think it is going to fantastic!

Thank you for dropping by my blog.  I hope you have a SWEET weekend:)

Dear Daughter Quilt FINISHED!!

Oh my, oh my!  I am so happy to say this quilt is finished:) Yea!! Yea!!  It has been a labor of love to be sure.When  I first saw this Block of the Month advertised by Rebecca Mae Designs, I absolutely knew that I had to make one for my Dear  Daughter.  I have loved each and every chapter.  I spent my time sewing and thinking of my daughter.

I think my favorite chapter is the center.  One wild and precious life.  She is so precious to me.

Bur I really like the Nourish Faith chapter as well. Those corner flowers are so great!
I spent a very long time quilting this beauty.  It was a lot of free motion mixed with some fun motifs.I love the hearts and flowers:) Aren’t they pretty?

Here is my quilt getting ready to be trimmed for binding.  

I trimmed and then serged the edges to keep things all neat and stable while sewing the binding on.

I used my favorite  binding method to get these fantastic mitered edges and beautiful invisible front stitching.
I added a label to the back that I printed out on my computer.  I will make a blog post on how to do this soon…

And done!  And none too soon because my  dear daughter’s birthday is tomorrow!  She is going to LOVE it:)
Thank you for following along on my Dear Daughter journey.  It has been a SWEET adventure!

Sweet Haus CAL #3 – The Sunday Shawl Preparations 

I have gathered my yarn and am looking with excitement at it in anticipation of this CAL.  It is only two weeks away!

I have checked my gauge. It is 2″ and ready to go.

I am happy to be crocheting along  with Margareta from At Margareta’s Haus. Why don’t you join us?  

Here are the details: 

  • Order your pattern on Ravelry
  • Gather up your yarn and hook
  • Be ready to start on February 6th
  • Finish on February 20th

That’s it.  Easy! 

If you decide to join us, let me know and I will link you up to our progress posts.  How fun is that?!

Have a super SWEET day!

Toto- We’re Not In Kansas Anymore…

My best friend’s daughter got married today in Utah.  Here is what my car looked like this morning….This Arizona girl is NOT used to this!  The blanket of snow is so beautiful, but I must admit that I am worried about my drive home tomorrow.

Yesterdays drive from Eastern Arizona through Las Vegas to Utah was a wet, messy drive the whole way.  Back splash from trucks made the drive especially exciting.  Not!

We did have one highlight though.  We had a Destination Dining experience.  Whenever we go through Las Vegas, we HAVE to stop at Tacos El Gordo.  Have you ever been there?  If not, you really should make it  a must stop on your next trip to Las Vegas.

This taco shop is the real deal.  I don’t know why they call them Gordo though. They are little 3 inch tacos.

They shave the meat off of this big skewered thing and cover it with a green sauce of some sort.  Yummy yummy!!  Really, give this place a try.  It is a definite dining destination:)!

But of course, the highlight was the wedding.  It was beautiful.  I am glad we braved the cold.  The couple is so happy. Just as newlyweds should be:)

It has been a very SWEET day!

Splendidly Sewing

I think I might..I repeat, MIGHT just catch up with my fellow Splendettes on my Splendid Sampler.  Well, probably not, but I WILL finish!  It is kind of sad seeing this QAL ebbing to a close. Just a few more weeks.  Wow! What a year!

I am happy with the last few days progress. I have finished nine more blocks. Yea!

Here are the blocks I completed: 

Bee Happy –  This was by far the hardest block I have done out of all of the blocks.  Some how I even managed to have my bee face the wrong direction!  My English paper piecing was awkward and a bit wonky.  I don’t care though.  I am just glad I could do it at all.Look at those teeny tiny stitches!  A few of the pieces were only about 1/2″ total size.  That made for quite a bit of fabric bulk at the points.  All in all I still like it.  I don’t think I will be doing any odd shaped, teeny EPP in the near future though!

Hearts and Flowers—  I really love this block. If I have learned any one thing through this Splendid journey, it is that I love embroidery blocks.I find it so relaxing to sit in the evenings with a needle and thread and make a beautiful flower or two.It is a pleasure.  I am looking forward to getting back to my other embroidered quilt project Salem Quilt Guild.  

The rest of these blocks were fairly simple and quick to sew up.

Starting Point-

Summer’s Gift-

Homeward Bound-

The Icing on the Cake-

Rising Star-

Bows-

First Stitch-

I am excited to see these SWEET blocks all come together.  I think I have even decided on a setting for them.  We shall see…

Thank you for stopping by!

Secret Sweet and Sour Chicken

I hope you are ready for your taste buds to be in Asian Paradise because this is the absolute best Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe you will ever try!!

Every great story begins with – Once upon a time, many years ago…. my husband and I were invited to a friend’s house for dinner.  She made this  wonderful Sweet and Sour Chicken.  In fact, it was so wonderful that it was better than any restaurant Sweet and Sour Chicken we had ever had.

I oohed and aahed and asked for the recipe.  She hesitated and then said that her friend’s family owned a Chinese restaurant and this was their secret recipe.  She had sworn to keep it to herself, but would share it with me if I would also keep it to myself.


It has been 25 years and I think it is now safe to share this Secret Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe with you.  Just be sure to keep it a secret!

Secret Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts 
  • 1/2 box cornstarch placed in ziplock bag
  • 3 beaten eggs in a pie dish
  • 2tbs garlic salt, approximately 
  • Oil for frying

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2c sugar
  • 6tbs ketchup
  • 1c vinegar
  • 6tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 c pineapple or orange juice 
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tbs corn starch

Directions:

Cube chicken into bite sized pieces.  Heavily sprinkle and cover chicken with garlic salt.  Use more than you think you need.  Cover and place in fridge for 30 min.

While chicken is resting, make sauce.  Place all of the sauce ingredients except the corn starch in a sauce pan and heat until boiling.  Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and add 1/2-1c of the boiling sauce mixture and stir until well mixed.  Add the mixed cornstarch to the saucepan and stir until slightly thickened.  It will still seem a bit runny.  Turn off heat and take chicken out of refrigerator.

Heat your frying oil.  Dip the chicken pieces in the pie plate with the eggs and then add them to the cornstarch. Shake until the pieces are evenly covered with cornstarch.  Fry chicken in hot oil until crispy and lightly golden white.  Place all of the chicken in a 9×13 or bigger baking pan and pour all of the sauce over the top.  Stir to coat all of the pieces.  Bake the chicken at 350* for 30 min stirring every 10 min.

My daughter in law LOVES this Sweets and Sour Chicken!

Mmmmm!  Delicious!!  This is definitely a SWEET recipe!



Scrap-Happy TWX! 

I am very Scrap happy today in fact, I feel Tealed With a Kiss or TWX!  It”s always fun to link up with Kate and Gun on their monthly Scrap Happy challenge.  This month I am also happy to join Kate  in a service project quilt for ovarian cancer.  I am donating this 12.5″ block in teals and creams with an “x” or a kiss in it.  Cute!!

The block is a Memory Lane block and this is how you can make one yourself:

  • Gather your scraps
  • Cut 4- 3″ medium teal and 4- 3″ cream squares
  • Draw a line diagonally on the back of of the teal squares
  • Sew 1/4″ on either side of the line
  • Cut down the center making two 1/2 square triangles 
  • Trim these to 2.5″.  
  • Cut 4- 4.5″ cream squares
  • Cut 1- 4.5″ dark teal square
  • Cut 8- 2.5″ medium teal squares
  • Cut 8- 2.5″ light teal squares
  • Stitch and flip one medium teal square to the corner of one 4.5″ cream square and the add another stitch and flip square to the next side as shown in the above pictures
  • Sew the 1/2 square triangles to the light teal 2.5″ squares
  • Sew the pairs together making sure the seams “kiss” together as you go.
  • Arrange your small blocks together and sew them block by block, row by row.

Done!  Now you have a beautiful Memory Lane block.  If you put a bunch of them together, you will get a lovely trellis type quilt.Pretty, pretty!  I just love the many variations one block can make in a quilt.  Don’t you?

I hope you have a super SWEET day!

A Granny Square Skirt

I bought some wool yarn in Israel, but I had no project really planned for it.  I have had a hard time deciding what to make with it.I started a few pot holders, but they just didn’t feel or look right.   Then I saw this fantastic skirt pattern on Pinterest and knew that this was my yarn’s fate:)!I started stitching right away.  But I ended up not using the pattern.  I just started crocheting up grannies. I made 28 of them with a few extra just in case.The thing about grannies is that there is a huge amount surplus of hanging tails.  It took me a few evenings just to weave them in.  But I really don’t mind.  It is a relaxing evening activity:) I think it is prettier and stronger than trying to crochet them in as I sew.Following the weave-fest, I took my blocks to the ironing board and set up a needle block station.  Someday I may invest in a real blocking station, but I always forget until I am ready to block and I don’t want to wait.  The needles work fine for me.I just stretched the block nice and square and placed the needles in at an angle and then steam burst the block without actually touching the iron to the yarn.  I let it cool a bit and then gently removed the block.  I made sure to leave the needles in place so the next block would be the same size.  I did this with all of the squares.

Here is the difference between blocked and not blocked.Here is another view of six blocked squares compared to six not blocked squares.Amazing!   They look so pretty all blocked and stacked. Sometimes I like to just sit and look at my pretty stacks of blocks or fabric all neat and tidy:)I then started laying them out in a design I liked and started sewing them together in lines and then into a circle.Time to move on to the main part of the skirt- I am double crocheting in rounds and only in the back loop of each stitch to get this fun stripey looking stitch.I am a bit bummed though, because I don’t have enough thread.  What’s new, right?  Luckily, I found the exact thread online from a shop in Europe and they are mailing me a few more skeins.  Yea!!

I have really been enjoying working on this skirt.  It is going to be beautiful.  I have been stitching at home and on small road trips.  Here is a view of some of the scenery out of my car door window today.It is always a SWEET day when I can be on a road trip AND crochet!  Life just doesn’t get any better than this!

Thank you for dropping by:)

It’s a Splendid Day Again!

Finally!  I feel like things have calmed down around my house enough for me to open my Splendid Sampler box and sew a few more blocks.I don’t know if I will be able to get them all done.  I will certainly try, but if I don’t, oh well.  I will love all of the blocks I do get done.  I know that however many are finished will make a beautiful quilt.  Even stacked in my repurposed napkin holder they look fantastic!I keep them there beside my cutting area to remind me and to give me a little smile as I look at the latest blocks;). Aren’t you smiling just looking at them?  

I have been really surprised with how much I have been using the 1st introductory bonus project.  I cut several blocks worth of fabrics and place them in my portable preview station.  And then they are ready for me to sew when I get a spare minute. It is great!

I added a few extra pages to my book by cutting a vinyl tablecloth and sewing them inside.  It works wonderfully.

I was able to get six blocks done today.  The first two, Love and Travelers were very easy.  Thank you Pat! They even kind of look the same.

Next was the fun little triangle block, Hen and Chicks. 

I had a very fun time making the Full Circle block.  I didn’t follow the instructions to make this block.  I used a method I learned about from QuirksLTD.  I sewed the strips altogether and then sewed them to the larger blue rectangle.  I traced a large circle onto my “background” fabric and cut it out leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.I snipped  the seam allowance and pressed it to the inside and then pinned the “hole” on top of my stripped piece and sewed it down.  Easy!

At first, I didn’t think I would like the Shell block, but it ended up being my favorite of these blocks.  I do like the look of a paper pieced block, I just don’t like the amount of wasted fabric and the mess.

And finally, my embroidered block.This one was a practice in redwork.  I have decided that I really like multi colored embroidery better. I had to give it a “sample” though:)

I am having a fun time with this Sampler. It has been a year of learning.  Thank you for stopping by my blog.  

I hope you have a SWEET day!

Sweet Haus CAL#3 – The Sunday Shawl

I am excited to be starting my third crochet along with Margareta from At Margareta’s Haus.  Why don’t you join us?   Last year we each made a Mandala Madness along with Helen at crystals and crochet.  It turned out so pretty!

We then continued the fun by joining in on the  Peacock Bag CAL by Lilly Bjorn Crochet.  This bag get compliments every time I go to the store!

And now, we are going to make The Sunday Shawl by Little Bee along with the Facebook group, Pippen Crochet.   The pattern is on Ravelry.com. Isn’t it beautiful?  

I have purchased my yarn and am ready to go.  I am using super wash merino wool.   Ooh, I am just in love with these luscious colors!! The main color is going to be the beautiful burnt orange/rust and the edging will be the other lovely colors.  

I must give a word of warning about online purchases though.  I ordered the orange from the same company, BUT when my happy box full of yarn arrived, I opened it only to find that the rusty orange color pictured online was really a barn yard red. Ugh!

So, I went to a local store and spent quite a bit more on the orange yarn in the picture.  I love it though, and they wound it into these SWEET cakes for me.  

I am excited to get started on this shawl.  If you are interested in joining us, we are going to start on February 6th.  That is several weeks away  so you will have time to gather your supplies:). 

I hope to be crocheting along with you soon!